Wanted: Knitters With The Write Stuff

editThis website has been a labor of love since 1999, first on Yahoo! geocities and now here on WordPress.com, and I have a lot of experience managing websites. Sadly, I have little time these days for actually looking for interesting and fun items to share (unless it falls in my lap) for all of you who follow this site and visit it.

So, I’ve decided to open up this blog and am currently looking for a few (up to 5 4) knitters who have their proverbial ear to the ground in the knitterly realm and would like to guest blog here on a bi-weekly basis.  You can use this site to bring exposure to your own site and if you don’t currently have a WordPress.com website, well, this is an excellent way to get your feet wet without diving into the deep end. As an extra bonus, I’d be happy to help you set up your very own site here on WordPress.com after 6 3 months of regular posting.

Interested? Drop me a note either in the comments here or on my contact page and let’s be in touch.

justify-finito
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Justify!

How could a yarnaholic (even a recovered one) not love that name and the philosophy behind Lynne Vogel’s moebius pattern?!

This was my knitting project/present to myself ahead of our trip to Norway in May and, thankfully, the yarns were waiting patiently in my stash; Four large skeins of Vitalgo Oxford in a dark charcoal gray and at least 1 skein each of about 7 myriad colors in Schaffhauser Vesuvio. In order to get the gauge called for I ended up using 1 strand of Oxford and 1 strand of Vesuvio throughout. Depending on how I held the yarns, there was a bit of color “peek-a-boo” thing going on that I liked.2014-10-18 11-copy

The biggest challenges were finding a circular needle long enough to handle the bazillion stitches I knew I would have going once the moebius was grafted together (hooray for our LYS and 48″ circulars!), creating colorways on the fly with the limited palette I had to work with (and the number of repeats), weaving in endless ends and making sure I had enough time to complete the project before our trip (with 5 days to spare).

The center panel of my Justify was considerably wider than what the pattern called for, which was 26 stitches. Mine was closer to 34 inches. There were two reasons behind this: the first was to make sure the moebius would also come up a bit on my upper back/neck (where I’m always cold) while still covering my back and second, because I wanted to make the knitting go a bit faster. I swear I must have had a knitter’s blank out moment there because, honestly, what was that all about!?

Boyabreen Glacier

at the Boyabreen Glacier, Norway

Once I was done with the center panel, the words “Graft Ends Together” blared out at me like a flashing red neon sign. OK. An admission. I intensely dislike grafting, but for the weight of yarn I was using and matching a knit side to a purl side, my usual sidekick, a 3-needle bind-off, was not the right choice. After a few false starts and much swearing, the ends were joined at 180° and it was time to move on to the next round (snort), picking up the edge stitches and knitting the welts before the triangle, short row edging.

Hindsight being 20/20 (or 6/6, if you’re from that part of the world), I should not have skimped on the welting. This wrap really needs a wide welt to counteract the stocking stitch main body, but I neither had the time nor the patience after the center panel and its endless yarn ends. Lesson learned!

What I would do differently next time? I’d definitely start with a lighter weight, multicolored yarn. This not only will make it drape differently, it will be more wearable during what passes for winter in these parts.

Loopy making

Fiddliest yarn evar!

Loopy in all its #knit purple-y grape goodness.

A photo posted by JenT (@wysiwygjt) on

This lacy scarf was knit for my daughter, who I will be meeting abroad at the end of the month in a much colder climate. Seems most of my knitting these days is for travelling.

It’s been just too darn hot here to even think about knitting, let alone wearing, anything from wool. Thankfully the last couple of weeks have finally shown signs of the seasons changing (mostly windier and cooler at night), but we still have a way to go before the days are cooler by far, but it’s much warmer here than in most places.
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Is it any wonder I’ve limited my knitting to small items rather than full sweaters?

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Woolly Wormhead – The true cost of a pattern

I’ve been meaning to write a blog post about what actually goes into designing a pattern, and given the current discussions and my own recent posts, now seems as good a time as any. There is no set formula for calculating costs, and every designer’s experience will be different – this is a creative game after all, and we’re all individuals with different strengths and different approaches.

via Woolly Wormhead – Ripping Yarns: a knit, travel & Hat blog – The true cost of a pattern.

Great insights from Woolly Wormhead on her production costs. Time to review again the importance of supporting independent designers and protecting their copyrights.

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The Bells! The Bells!

Or: When Insomnia Strikes

When sunset is at 11:30 p.m., with twilight lasting until well after midnight, and sunrise comes at 4:30 a.m., what can one do?

In this case it turns out that people have the advantage over sheep. People can:

  1. pull down window blinds to block the light
  2. wear a sleep mask to block the light
  3. put a pillow over their head to block the light

Sheep have no such luck. They will wander and eat until it finally is mostly dark or they’ve exhausted themselves eating.

The problem comes at the intersection of sheep wearing collars with a bell and your B&B being right next to the field where the sheep are still grazing. With every movement of their head, the bell gives a merry little tinkle, multiplied by 6 or 7 or 8 or more.

I know, I counted.

My Norwegian Knitting Mis(sed)-Adventures

Nearly 10 days in Norway in May and June. Having done my research months in advance and lining up the wool shops mentioned in this post, you’d be right to think that most of it was spent frolicking in yarn, but that didn’t happen.

DH and I have a real knack for picking our vacations smack in the middle of some national or religious holiday wherever we are. This time our one full day in Bergen, Norway was during Ascension and every single yarn shop was closed. If we had wanted to purchase ready-made sweaters, there were plenty to be bought in the various shops catering to the multitudes from the cruise ships.

So as far as Bergen went, no Nilssen (though the sweater shop was open), no Norwegian Spirit (right across from our hotel), no Modellstrikk, no Strikkelykke. No garn.

That didn’t stop Bergen/Bryggen from being one of the most interesting places I’ve visited. The old wood buildings remaining from the Hanseatic League row houses now house galleries, restaurants and lots of interesting craft shops.

While I was planning our 4-day fjord road trip, I also noticed that the city of Dale was right off the highway on our first day out of Bergen and conveniently on our way to our 3-hour cruise on the Naeroyfjord. Hmm…. After finding the Dale of Norway website in English and tracking down the right email address (shopATdaleDOTno), I quickly wrote them and asked for the hours/directions of their outlet shop.

Dale of Norway Factory Outlet
Sandlivegen 2, 5722 Dalekvam
Tel: +4756595470

Hours (as of the end of May 2014):
Monday- Thursday 9.00-17.00
Friday 9.00-18.00
Saturday 9.00-14.00
Sunday closed

After parking the car, I nearly sprinted to the doors and wound my way through the lovely displays of new and last season’s sweaters and garments. At the back of the store I found myself in a woolly wonderland. Even a reformed yarnaholic could not resist buying a souvenir from the Dale Factory Outlet and I came away with 4 skeins of an unmarked alpaca/wool blend and 2 skeins of Ara, a thick and thin, single ply wool.2014-07-07 09

In my excitement (and feeling a bit of unspoken pressure from DH to get back on the road to meet our fjord cruise on time), my Dale experience went entirely undocumented. No Foursquare check-in, no photo of the Dale shop, no photo of the lovely sales person who spent her senior year of high school in southwest Minnesota. (Insert sound of hand smacking forehead here.)

The rest of our trip was spent driving, sightseeing, walking, eating and simply enjoying ourselves. The only other woolly encounter I had, besides flocks of sheep in fields and at times on the road, was at the Norsk Folkemuseum in Oslo, but that will be another post for another time.

Happy New Year!

Ms.Yarnaholic says Happy Vacation

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